Record-breaking victory: Girls track & field makes history with first Sectional Title


Photo Courtesy of: Charles Green //

The girls track & field program claimed their first-ever Sectional Title Thursday, May 11 at Bloomington High School.

The girls track & field team captured its first Sectional Title in school history on May 11, sending 12 competitors to this weekend’s IHSA State meet.

Community’s 89 points gave the Iron the edge over Edwardsville; the Tigers finished the 3A Bloomington Sectional in second with a team score of 85.5.

The 15-team meet was one for record books, as the Iron set school records in three events, including the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relays, finishing first in each. 

Juniors Ali Ince, Abigail Ziemer, Queen-Patricia Lubala and freshman Lily Cavanaugh punched their ticket to State in the 1,600, recording a finish of 3:51:75.  

The team’s time bested the previous school record, set in 2021, of 3:57.34 by more than five seconds. 

In the 3200 relay, Ince, Cavanaugh, Ziemer and Megan Metz (’ 23) earned a trip to Eastern Illinois with a time of 9:12:57. 

The finish broke the previous school record of 9:36.38, set last year by Ince, Ziemer, Metz and graduate Olivia Hartke.  

Ince has a chance at her third-straight State 800 title, with a winning time of 2:14.8 in the event. 

The junior can also take home a second consecutive 400 State Championship after winning the Sectional race with a 55.21.

Despite setting an IHSA and 3A record with her 2021 State performance in the 1600- run, finishing the mile in 4:40.85, Ince did not compete in the event at Sectionals. 

The decision allowed Ince to anchor both the team’s distance relays and may have implications in this weekend’s results. 

Also advancing to State for the Iron, Community’s 400- and 800-meter relays of Jahariah Williams, Jazmin West, Kendall Luke and Alena Smith.

The quartet heads to Charleston after earning an automatic State bid with a second-place finish in the 800- relay at 1:44.64. 

The four finished fourth in the 400-meter relay but earned their spot at State by meeting the event’s 49.34-second qualifying standard.

The relay’s 48.97 finish not only earned them a ticket to State, it broke a 24-year-old school record by one-hundredth of a second. 

Queen-Patricia Lubala claimed her spot at State in the 300 hurdles with a lifetime best of 45.89, taking second at Sectionals.

Both of the Iron’s shot-putters will compete Friday. 

Ruth Oliveros-Gallardo finished second at the Sectional with a throw of 11.63 meters, earning the senior her first appearance in Charleston. 

Sophomore Marco Reynolds finished fourth but beat the qualifying standard of 11.4 meters with her throw of 11.42. 

Junior Jazmin West met the qualifying standard to secure her place at State, crossing the 100-meter finish line at 12.38. West took fifth in the race but was .08 under the State qualifying time. 

The IHSA’s 3A State Preliminary round begins Friday, with State Finals to follow Saturday.